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KNOW YOUR PLACE: welcome to the wonderful world of maps

Have you ever wondered what our area was like in the past? or if you live in a new house what was on that site 100 years, or even 150 years ago? Know Your Place will help you to discover things about Chard, and the surroundings villages that you couldn’t have imagined.


So, let’s get going!


The first thing for you to do is to go to Know your Place or put in a search for ‘Know your place Somerset’.  Know Your Place is a digital heritage mapping resource to helps you explore your neighbourhood. It uses historic maps, collections and linked information.


So how do you use this resource.

Go to Know Your Place. Search for Chard, Somerset, or the name of your village. Spend a little time getting to know the site, there are instructions provided on the Know Your Place website.

Here are 4 questions to help you practice using the site. We think they will give you lots to think about. Find where you live on the 2017 map. Now scroll across and discover what was in that location on an older map.

  1. Look at the street names. Are they the same as today?

  2. Can you do some research to learn why the roads where given their name?

  3. Can you do some research to learn why the local roads were given their name?

  4. Now zoom out. What do you notice about Chard or your village that is different to how it is today?

  5. Where were these buildings on the 1800s map? – the Museum, the Guildhall, the Chard School or the Rugby Club?

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Map from Know Your Place

on the left Chard 1888, on the left the area in 2019    

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1888 Map St Mary's Church/ Culvertrayes (c) 1888

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Bondfield Way.JPG
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Gerrie bews, the museums Senior Researcher did some digging to provide you with examples of road names

John Wood's map from 1841

Have you ever wondered how your road came by its name?  Some are easy; Dening Close; Mitchell Close; Dominy Close; England’s Way and Toms Close were all names after late 19th or early twentieth century Mayors of the town.  Gifford Close honours Colonel James Gifford of early x-ray fame and Stringfellow Crescent after the pioneer of flight.  Two early Bishops of Bath and Wells, Nicholas Bubwith (1407-1424) and Jocelyn of Wells who granted the first Charter to the town in 1235 are commemorated by Bubwith Road and Close and Jocelyn Park. Old industries in the town have left their mark too.  Rope Walk was a rope factory in Crimchard. Boden Street was built to give access to Boden's Lace Mill from Fore Street.  The owners of the old Cerdic named roads at Grange Park might not be aware that their houses were built in the grounds of the beautiful old Grange. This was pulled down in the early 1960s to make way for the estate.


However, the meaning of some road names can evade us.  For example does anyone out there know how Bews Lane came to be so called?  I do know it wasn't named after me!!

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Central Chard 1905

learn it and share it

When you have found something out about your village, your house or the road you live in please Share it with the Museum, and we will share your findings with others on our website and our social media pages.

another opportunity
You can come into the Museum and research or review our Map Collection. All you have to do is complete the History Research Form giving us the topic you want to research and include some dates that might suit you to visit. We will then link you with a member of our excellent research team.
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